Great Circle Associates Firewalls
(November 1994)

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Subject: Re: Higher speed data lines
From: Thomas Hutton <hutton @ SDSC . EDU>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 94 16:08:03 PST
To: alastair @ cadence . com, firewalls @ GreatCircle . COM

>From: "Alastair Young" <alastair @
 cadence .
>Subject: Re: Higher speed data lines
>Well, you need Really Fast Machines. I heard a rumour that ANS (who run the
>NSFnet, sort of) use (or used to use) IBM RS6000 machines as T3 routers,
>because no actual routers would go fast enough. If those babies can route at T3
>then they could probably filter/proxy pretty quick too.

The IBM RS6000's that ANS used for the NSFnet routers were not standard
IBM systems.  From what I know of the systems (we have one here) its a 
Rs6000 with a non standard clock rate, and specialized DS3, ethernet and
FDDI interfaces (that are not IBM shippable products) that do handle 
routing and arp caching on the interface boards.   These boards copy
the packets directly to the other interfaces memory, the packets dont
really travel through the protocol stack.

I still remember the first time that IBM service sent someone other than
our standard hardware engineer to fix a problem.   He opened the system up
and then started saying how this wasnt an RS6000 and IBM peripherals.  That
we must have modified this system ourselves and he wouldnt touch it!

Tom Hutton
San Diego Supercomputer Center
hutton @
 sdsc .
(619) 534-5136

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